The Justice & Diversity Center thanks Morgan Lewis & Bockius for stepping forward to represent a minor, “V,” who was sued in federal court by her grandmother for reporting child abuse.
V’s minor cousin, who was in the grandmother’s custody, told V that their grandmother was abusing him. V reported the abuse to Child Protective Services and the cousin was removed from the grandmother. The grandmother then brought suit against the county, its employees, and in an odd, vindictive move, included minor V in the lawsuit.
The only claim alleged against V was intentional infliction of emotional distress. The United States District Court, Northern District of California recognized the unusual nature of this case and the importance of making sure that V had counsel.
The Court contacted JDC’s Federal Pro Bono Project which reached out to Morgan Lewis. Morgan Lewis quickly stepped up to serve as counsel and guardian ad litem for V. Firm attorneys Brian Rocca, Ben Smith, Michelle Park Chiu and Jenny Harrison promptly filed a motion to dismiss the claim against V with prejudice which was granted by the District Court.
While V is no longer a defendant, Morgan Lewis will continue to represent her pro bono in this matter in the event she is called as a witness.